Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ask the Internet: Healthy Valentines Dinner?

Today's question comes from the very bottom of my heart and *sniff* stomach:

Q: What are you making for Valentines Day dinner? How about dessert? Will there be wine involved? How are you staying healthy and within budget?

A: In order: Rachael Ray’s Pasta Puttanesca (one of Husband-Elect's favorite meals), not sure yet, most definitely, and through the power of spaghetti.

Readers, how about you? If you have any good recipes (especially for Valentines desserts), pass ‘em on! This is a great time to leave links to your own recipes in the comment section.

Want to ask the interweb a question? Post one in the comment section, or write to Cheaphealthygood@gmail.com. Then, tune in next Tuesday for an answer/several answers from the good people of the World Wide Net.

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10 comments:

KitschenBitsch said...

Mr. B handles V-day dinner. We're having Steak au Poivre this year; last year he did Barefoot Contessa's Coq au Vin in the new red dutch oven he got us for V-day. I will make dessert; either the cookie dough truffles, chocolate peanut butter balls, or the strawberry tarts I made last year (I got strawberries for my salad, pureed the leftovers and mixed them with cream cheese, a sprinkle of powdered sugar, a splash of vanilla, and piped them into prebaked pastry shells that tasted like sugar cookies, bought on clearance for .99).

We'll stay healthy by eating Steak au Poivre for V-day instead of having it a week ago like we wanted to. :) We're saving that as an indulgent celebratory meal, and I'll make a fancy salad or veggie to go with. And yes, there will be wine.

Ellie said...

We usually try to make something that we don't make ever/often. I think this year it may be a polenta dish I've been wanting to try.

I love to cook out of my Small Batch Baking cookbook for a decadent dessert for the two of us that doesn't then sit around for a week. One year we did mini chocolate souffles; I've done mini-lemon meringue pies; Mark did a chocolate lava cake or something. I'm not sure what it will be this year, especially with all the snow on the ground keeping us from the grocery store.

Kris said...

KB, how is BC's Coq au Vin? I made Emeril's once (and it was divine), but Ina's anything is better than everyone else's everything.

Ellie, that's a great point - the blizzard is going to keep a lot of people from shopping this year. I bet there'll be a lot of egg-less chocolate cakes in the mix.

KB said...

K, BC's Coq au Vin as interpreted by Mr. B was enough to make you weep. It was ridiculously good.

Our only complaint (aside from it taking so long I think we ate at one a.m.) was the bones in the chicken breast are nigh impossible to pick out. I'm thinking of trying it with skin-on chicken thighs to alleviate that problem -- those bones are far easier to catch, and if you miss a few, they are less likely to end up in one's throat, which is decidedly unromantic/potentially life-threatening.

He made a few changes, and I'll have to ask him what exactly.

ellabella said...

I'm going straight-up Ina this year. I'm actually making everything from one of her shows- mustard roasted fish, parmesan roasted broccoli, and dill fingerling potatoes. Not the fanciest, but for a college student, it's fairly high-end. However, in the interests of being kind of spectacularly broke, I'm going to be making some changes (ie- sour cream for creme fraiche, tilapia instead of red snapper).

Actually, I might as well ask while I'm here: is sour cream an acceptable alternative for creme fraiche? The comments on the foodnetwork site said it worked okay, but if anyone has a better alternative or a horror story, I would be all ears.

Amiyrah said...

I think going seafood for valentine's day is a great way to stay healthy and still keep it romantic. I love all of the readers that are "going Ina" this year. She has a great recipe for scallops gratin and a great recipe for mussels. Both are not only healthy(if you cut down the butter a bit) but they are inexpensive too. Us? we're going out lol. We celebrate our anniversary and valentine's day at the same time, so we get to splurge. I do think Japanese is on the menu though, so it won't be too heavy. Just enough nourishment for snuggling after lol.

KB said...

Ellabella -- in my experience, creme fraiche is just thicker and richer than sour cream. I sub them both for one another depending on whatever is cheaper. Occasionally, I find a really high-end creme fraiche for seventy five cents on manager's special at my local grocery. If you're worried about the sour cream not being thick enough, line a colander with cheesecloth/paper towel and let a little moisture drain off before you use it.

Katherine said...

Ellabella- I've heard the two are basically the same. But I know that Trader Joe's has a cheap (like 3 dollars) Creme Fraiche if price is what's holding you back. Good luck!

betsy said...

I'm going Epicurious...Asparagus wrapped in serrano ham, followed by Cioppino. I'm planning to drink champagne with it all! Just debating dessert...either a cheese plate or mini chocolate souffles.

Sean said...

A healthy Valentine's dinner sounds nice, but I think my girlfriend and I are going to go out to eat.